Sometimes finding a way to spark students’ creative writing skills can be a huge challenge. In the lower elementary grades it is important to not only provide appropriate skill level activities, but also ones that students can relate to. The ideas below are perfect ways to get your students involved and excited about creative writing without a lot of fuss.
Let Art Inspire Adjective Awareness!
In Debi’s 2nd Grade class in Medford, Oregon, students combine art with writing. “It’s great for kinesthetic learners, and for developing all students’ fine motor skills,” Debi explains. “In addition, it offers practice with interpretive art.”
Begin by having students suggest all the words (adjectives) they can think of that describe how lines can appear (e.g., wavy, zigzag, muted, bold, thin, straight, angled, curved, etc.). Record these adjectives on a chart pad, and transfer each one to an index card. Tip: You may want to make several sets of the same cards.
Have students create free-form drawings on butcher paper. Read the word cards together, then have students select one or more adjective word cards that best describes the attribute of each drawing.
Variation: You can also present this idea as a learning station activity. To do this, tape a number of papers in place on the table along with one or more adjective cards. Have students rotate around the table taking turns to add lines to each paper as directed by the adjective cards. Use a timer to advance students through the papers. Share the resulting art together.
Use Christmas Figurines to Spark Imaginations
Just in time for the holidays and creative writing next week, this great idea comes from Kay, a 3rd Grade Teacher in Magnolia, Texas. “I have found that little figurines sold with miniature snow villages are perfect for sparking creative writing. I have students each select a figurine and use a 5″ x 7” index card to create a background for each one. Each week students choose a new figure to write about. The figurines are inexpensive and easy to store for future use. Tip: This is a great ongoing learning center activity.”
What are some of your favorite ways to spark students’ imagination?